Baskets is one of Sabahan traditional handicraft that used in their everybay chores. Everything from fruits, to firewood, to padi stalks are transported in these baskets strapped on their backs, leaving their hands free to carry even more load.
Sabahan baskets is made from bamboo, rattan and bark. These baskets have now been adapted for more commercial demand, and they make useful pen and pencil holders, as well as vases for dried flowers.
For the Dusun/Kadazan living at the foot of Mount Kinabalu, they make a particularly elegant basket called thewakid.
This back carrier is cylindrical at the base and has a flared-out top. The body is made of pieces of carefully split bamboo which are tightly fitted at the elongated base. The spokes of the bamboo flare at the mouth of the piece. The ends are secured, lashed individually to two or more rattan hoop using split rattan twine. The body is further reinforced with two or more layers of twine tying the spokes at different heights, which gives a particularly decorative effect. The base is laced with rattan on an overlay of a strip of thin bark. A circular piece of bark lines the bottom of the basket. Usually a spathe is attached to make carrying more comfortable. A pair of shoulder straps made either of woven split rattan or bark cloth and the two ends of a forehead strap flank the spathe to complete the form and function of this basket.
Thewakid is in great demand for its style and grace, as a useful carrier and container, and as a household ornament. Wakid are now popular in miniature for the tourist market.
If you a interest on this baskets handicraft, you can visit Borneo Handicraft, Lot A148, 1st f1, Wisma Merdeka Jalan Tun Razak or any Tamu in Sabah.